Portman proposes $450 weekly ‘back-to-work bonus’ for unemployed during COVID-19 pandemic

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OHIO (WJW) — Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) this week proposed providing a weekly cash incentive to encourage individuals to return to work as the country’s economy reopens.

Portman said on the Senate floor Wednesday that as America begins to reopen, it needs a workforce that’s ready to step into their old jobs or newly-available jobs.

He highlighted a proposal of providing $450 per week to those returning to work. That payment would be on top of their regular wages.

It’s discussed as a replacement for the $600 per week supplemental unemployment benefit that expires July 31.

A press release from Portman’s office stated that he believes the proposal would ensure there are as few situations as possible where staying on unemployment is more lucrative than returning to work.

He said the provision should be part of the next coronavirus response stimulus legislation considered in the Senate.

The White House is reportedly considering the bonus.

“It’s something we’re looking at very carefully,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. He called the jobless aid “a major disincentive to go back to work.”

The press release states that according to research from the American Action Forum and the University of Chicago, 60 to 70 percent of those on unemployment are making more than they did in their prior job due to the current stimulus.

The bottom 20 percent of those are making double, on average, than they would normally.

For much more on this proposal, click here.

For more on the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

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